Racing bosses crown Sochi as best Formula 1 track in 2014

Racing bosses crown Sochi as best Formula 1 track in 2014
2014 has been a great year for Russian motorsport, with Sochi Autodrome named the best track in the Formula 1 calendar by racing professionals. And Russia’s young driver, Daniil Kvyat, was voted rookie of the year.

The annual FIA (International Automobile Federation) Gala ceremony took place in Qatar on Friday, with Sochi Autodrome winning the Race Promoter's Trophy.

The award, handed out by Formula One Management (FOM) to the best race promoter of the season, will be presented to the Russian organizers on December 19, during an official visit by FIA and FOM officials to Sochi.

“In its debut operational season, Sochi Autodrom, which has also recently been named 'Motorsport Facility of the Year', hosted a number of important international, national and regional events,” an official press-release by motorsports’ governing body, FIA, said.

"Besides hosting the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, Sochi Autodrom will soon launch its Driving Academy that will contribute to motorsport development in the Krasnodar region and Russia. The program will include driver education in general, with a focus on defensive driving, and an aim to install greater safety awareness on Russian roads," it added.

Race cars during a race at the 2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Belousov)

Sochi Autodrome hosted the first ever Russian Grand Prix on October 10-12, with 65,000 spectators witnessing British driver, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, winning the historic race.

Following the event, Hamilton, who finished the 2014 season as two-time F1 world champion, said “Russia has been the favorite place for me this year.”

“I didn’t know that F1 was something that people followed here [in Russia]. I saw thousands of people and they were enthusiastic about the event,” the British driver is cited by TASS news agency.

READ MORE:British driver Hamilton wins Russian F1 Grand Prix in Sochi

The 5.9-kilometer street circuit, which gies around Sochi 2014 Olympic Park venues, will host the Russian Grand Prix until 2020.

In November, Sochi Autodrom was also crowned as the winner of the ‘Motorsport Facility of the Year Award’ at the 2014 Professional MotorSport World Expo in Cologne, Germany.

Despite concerns by FIA, Russia managed to stage two, high profile sporting events in the same city in the same year, with the Black Sea resort city of Sochi also becoming the capital of the Winter Olympic Games in February.

Russia’s Kvyat is motorsport’s best newcomer in 2014

Meanwhile, Daniil Kvyat becomes motorsport’s best newcomer in 2014. On Sunday, Formula 1 debutant, Kvyat, snatched motorsport's Rookie of the Year award at the 2014 Autosport Awards.

The 20-year-old Russian, who won Formula Renault ALPS and GP3 titles in 2013 and 2013, has managed to prove his F1 talent driving for Toro Rosso.

Kvyat completed the season in 15th spot in the drivers’ championship, finishing in the points on five occasions.

He also produced a superb display in qualifying at the home Grand Prix in Sochi, claiming fifth spot on the starting grid.

Toro Rosso's driver Daniil Kvyat before a race at the 2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)

"It's been a great year and it's gone by so fast. I've been lucky to work with some great people at Toro Rosso. My first race was very special," the Russian said as he accepted the award.

The announcement that Kvyat will replace four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel of Germany, in the high-flying Read Bull team in 2015 is F1’s biggest news this year.

READ MORE: Kvyat on route to becoming Russian Vettel

"He's got great speed. When Sebastian announced he was going to Ferrari, Daniil was the obvious choice to replace him," Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing chief, is cited as saying by Autosport.com.

The new Formula 1 season is scheduled to start with the Australian Grand Prix on March 15, 2015.

The Russian Grand Prix in Sochi will take place on October 11, becoming the 17th race of 21 in the calendar.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat takes part in a race during the 2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Belousov)